Self Love Day

by Feb 10, 2017Peace of Mind, Self Love1 comment

Self Love Day

Following on from my post last week on self-care, I came across the fact that February the 13th is International Self-love day as championed by Christine Arylo.  As I have had a really exhausting and draining week, I thought I would continue on this theme as self-love is really important for me right now.  I actually really need to rest so I will keep it short and sweet.

Expectations

The thing is, that if we don’t show ourselves love, compassion, respect and gentleness, chances are no one else will either. The atmosphere around Valentine’s day is one that can actually induce acute feelings of worthlessness, loneliness and frustration. I remember at school there was an in-school Valentines postal service. Inevitably, a few kids in the class got numerous Valentine’s cards and the rest were left empty handed. I don’t know how the others experienced it, but this often felt humiliating to me.

I have heard, countless times, of women being upset and angry because their partner had forgotten/ ignored/ ruined Valentine’s Day for them. Let’s face it, there can be a lot of expectation loaded on that one day for a lot of women and I would guess that not many experience the romance they were wishing for. It can be hard to be romantic on demand, or at the call of commercial forces.

The origins of Valentine’s Day.

Lupercalia, a pagan celebration, was a fertility festival which was outlawed at the end of the 5th century. It involved nudity and whipping women with goats hides, ha ha..love it! There were a few Christian Valentine’s who may have inspired Pope Gelasius to declare February 14 St. Valentine’s Day but it is not clear what the inspiration was exactly. During the Middle Ages, it was believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season. This set the scene for an idea that Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance, although I am guessing that the original pagan qualities of the feast day were still shining through. So it is a bit of a confused celebration, like many in this day and age, and of course, it has been hijacked by commercialism like all the rest.
self- love day
Self Love Day seems to be aimed at women and is centred around femininity, which is great of course. However, it got me thinking that guys could also do with a whole lot of self-love too. I must say I don’t actually know any men that give me the impression that they are terribly full of self-worth, which I find really sad. Many men have grown up in a culture where it is not ok for them to feel or express their emotions and softer compassionate side. I am tired of this patriarchal paradigm and I want my two young sons to have a more accurate and balanced view of what it means to be a boy/male/man. I have even noticed that in our parenting, cultural influences have made their mark. The instructions to  “Man -up”, “stop the crying” and “toughen up” seem to be all too common.
I hate to think of them stuffing down their emotions so early on, and they are both sensitive beings. I want them to know that there is strength in sensitivity too. As mental health issues in young people increase yearly and suicide rates amongst young men are at shocking levels, I believe it is crucial to teach our children self-love and self-awareness.
self love day
By chance, as I was contemplating this, I came across the Jennifer Siebel Newsom documentary, The Mask You Live In. It explores how the limiting definition of masculinity is harming boys, men, and society at large while urging viewers to take action.   It looks really inspiring and I look forward to watching it.

So in this Valentines’s week, I encourage you to find little moments for self-care in your life. Yes, that means you too men! If you can, make February 13th a day to really explore how you can give yourself that extra nourishment. Cherish yourself, so that you feel loved and looked after. And if someone else wants to wine and dine you on the 14th, then hey, it’s just a welcome bonus!

 

 

Please comment:

Let me know how you are showing yourself some love this week and how the energy around Valentine’s Day feels to you. I would love to hear how you celebrate Self Love Day!

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